Xcel Energy Inc. (Xcel Energy) has started operations of its 100.5 megawatt (MW) Grand Meadow wind farm situated east of Austin. It has started selling electricity to the regional transmission grid on December 4, 2008. With the addition of the Grand Meadow wind power project, Xcel Energy has above 1,200 MW of wind-powered generation on its Upper Midwest system.
The company intends to have 4,000 MW of wind power capacity in the region by 2020, when the state says it must generate at least 30% of its power from renewable resources.
In the meantime, the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency and Avant Energy of Minneapolis have three wind-power projects under development.
The three wind power projects are projected to generate 44 MW each, or enough electricity to power 14,000 homes per year. The firm is conducting studies for one wind farm each in Steele and Freeborn counties, and another made up of single wind turbines scattered across in 11 cities, including Anoka, Chaska, North St. Paul and Shakopee in the Twin Cities metro area.